WOT: Home Projects

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Well, hello there!

My apologies to the two people who read this blog (my husband and occasionally my mother).  I did not mean to go so long between posting.  My hat's off to those moms out there with kids who do any type of part-time work/blogs/hobbies from home, but I've been so swamped that I have barely checked my blogs (which are like my drugs) or even Instagram (also a drug).

What have I been up to, you ask?  Besides mothering three small and often-hungry children, I've been doing every project on my list that I've neglected since my baby's birth 9 months ago, and sadly for my husband, that means he has been too.

All of the projects!  All at the same time!  Because if your house is already filthy, your children already neglected, and all the tools already out, when is there a better time to do every thing to your house that you've been procrastinating?

In this case, the last two-three weeks have involved the following projects, which I'll review for today's Working On Things (WOT):

1) CURB APPEAL: Driveway (Nonexistent) Corner and Mailbox update.

Three Fridays ago, Brad came home to two eyesores.  Our driveway has a drastic taper at the entrance so we are always driving over this corner grass, a corner that happens to be where our drains empty rainwater out to the street.  The pipe's spout looked packed with mud, so I knew it was time to do something about it.  Our neighbor talked me through how to fix it and also left me a big bag of the drainage rocks we'd need, so I decided to just shovel the grass out.


In the process, I discovered the pipe was completely busted, so of course I stopped right there and went on to tearing down the mailbox instead.



We'd been wanting to take down our mailbox for some time.  It didn't match the brick on our house and was sloppily done--it was crooked, falling apart, and the concrete between the bricks was super clumpy, like it hadn't been mixed properly.  I attempted knock it down with just a normal hammer and my rubber mallet, an attempt which really entertained another neighbor of ours.  (We seriously have the BEST neighbors.  It's OK, you can be jealous.)  I also got partway through demolition (that's generous--I knocked out the top layer of bricks) before realizing that I did not have the right tools, nor the physical strength to tear down the rest.  What a welcome for Brad!  "Welcome home, honey!  Looks like your Saturday is planned!"
I did get farther than this, but not much...

The next day (General Conference weekend, so we did lots of streaming and working--it was actually SO great!), Brad fixed the pipe using some extra supplies our neighbor had.



Brad then tore down the old mailbox, which seriously took a herculean effort.  He artfully placed it on our wheelbarrow and that's what our mailbox was for two weeks.



We finished fixing it Saturday. (These images have been photoshopped to hide our house numbers.  I wish you could see our modern numbers--I love them!)



Our GREAT gratitude goes again to our dear neighbor who not only lent us every garden tool in the world, but also built this post for us.  We are seriously lucky to have our amazing neighbors.

I still have some more projects up my sleeve to fix curb appeal, including doing the other corner on the driveway.  I'll probably also tear it up one Friday for Brad to fix the next day, because I'm nice.


2)  BACKYARD: Brick Pathway and Dividers

The BEFORE photo--but this is making it look much nicer than it actually was...

While we feel SO lucky to have a backyard, it's mainly been weeds and more weeds and all the old play toys our neighbors put out for free.  My kids are filthy every time they play and they also track in a never-ending stream of dirt.  I'm constantly fighting them off the weeds in addition to the clover field.



We got our old, rotten tree cut down and it gave us a ton of bark, which made me decide it was finally time to divide off the sides and put in the brick pathway so the lawn mower had a place to go.  (It should be noted, that this is another reason behind tearing down the mailbox, so we could use the brick...  See, there is some logic behind my madness!)  I worked on spreading out collected cardboard (thank you, Costco!), shoveling some bark along the fence line, and digging out a path for the brick/dividers throughout the week.


And then, you guessed it, Brad and I started working on it on the same Saturday as the curb appeal projects.  We got partway through and I planned on finishing the rest throughout the coming week.



But I have three children, so I only worked on it for two days.  And then it rained throughout the weekend, so instead we worked on the fireplace (see below).  We finally finished the dividers/path On Saturday!  It actually wasn't that hard but it was time consuming because of all the digging and we also had to tap off the old concrete from the bricks.








We still have more work to do (spreading out the bark, leveling the ground where the tree was, planting grass seed, and figuring out what to do with all the rocks we collected), but it's looking SO much better than it has for the last 3 1/2 years we'e lived here.  I wish we had done it sooner.


3) FIREPlACE REMODEL

Please don't hate me, but I'm going to make this a post in and of itself because this is already too drawn out.   (I am working on not making my posts so long...)  So please return later this week and I'll tell you the tale of an ugly fireplace and its unsightly TV cords, and how they were at long-last properly covered by a brave damsel and her handsome prince.

Here is your teaser:



17 comments:

  1. Love it, so creative and homey!

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  2. Seriously impressive! Wow... So much work... But incredibly gratifying right? I'm excited to see what the next projects look like! (Sorry Brad)

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    1. Totally gratifying! Brad is the best. Thanks, Fuj! (Get us a job, k?)

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  3. Nice work!! The mailbox looks great, I love the stump planters, and I'm already obsessed with your fireplace. Beautiful!!!

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    1. Thank you! My neighbor was also the one with the stump planter idea, and he took one for himself--I thought he deserved it.

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  4. Awesome!! The front of your house is dreamy and I can't wait to read all about your fireplace! I've spent the past 2 months sick and lying on the couch dreaming of all the house projects we're (Bryan is) going to do this Spring and summer ;)

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    1. Oh man, the things you dream while struggling through morning sickness! Hang in there, little lady! I hope you blog your projects--can't wait to see them!

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  5. Nicely done! I love all of it. And I love the repurposing of the bricks.

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  6. You are super woman. It looks great

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    1. You are so sweet, Cindy--thanks for always encouraging me!

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  7. The backyard looks impressive;the planters are quite lovely! I am very impressed with the use of brick. I am definitely going to use this idea!

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    1. So cool! Can't wait to see what you do.

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  8. First of all, add me to the list of people anxiously awaiting a blog post from you. I seriously LOVE reading your posts. I am sooooo impressed with all of your house/yard projects. They look so good. You've lit a fire under me to get things done that I've been meaning to do for years now. I will say, having Ben not so needy is giving me some extra time I didn't realize he was taking up. I love it all. And I'm texting you about the house numbers b/c I have been looking high and low for ones that I like and I cannot find any.

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    1. Emily, you are such a cheerleader! Thank you for reading so much and being my friend, not to mention sister in law. Can't wait to see what number you choose! And needy children are impossible to brush off. Time and a season, right?

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